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Morvan leads Land's End chase

A bold move to the east to work the rugged Welsh coast, saw Gaston Morvan (Region Bretagne-CMB Performance)make a gain of nearly a dozen miles between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, allowing the talented young French skipper to get his La Solitaire du Figaro Paprec back on track, leading Stage 2 towards Land’s End this Wednesday evening.

With the fleet leaders racing south in a modest E’ly wind funneling in to the narrow gap at the TSS Seven Stones offshore of Land’s End Morvan has a lead of just over four nautical miles with 125 miles of the stage from Kinsale to Roscoff still to race.

Eleventh on the first leg from Caen to Kinsale, finishing 17 minutes behind stage winner Tom Dolan Morvan admitted today he is in good shape, happy to be in the match. Reflecting that he did not take enough of a risk on Stage 1, Morvan was the first to break to the Welsh coast last night where he found more consistent breeze and less tide than his rivals who all but halted in the middle of the Saint George’s Channel.

Also making good gains on the strength of the same move has been Corentin Horeau (Banque Populaire) who was down in the teens, like Morvan with a deficit of more than ten miles on the erstwhile leader Alexis Loison (Groupe Réel). Horeau is back up to fifth at a little over five miles behind Morvan. And the young French rookie who crossed the finish line first into Kinsale but was penalized 30 minutes for a class rules infringement, Benoit Tuduri (Capso en Cavale) is fourth.

Ireland’s Tom Dolan, stage 1 winner on Smurfit Kappa-Kingspan has dropped to 16th, 16 miled behind Morvan.

But with another Channel crossing to come – the fourth of the three stage race so far – there will be uncertainty until this leg finishes Thursday. Unstable winds accompanied by rain and thunderstorms are expected and it is fair to say this stage will not be won until the finish line is crossed.